Think Madison Avenue in New York or Michigan Avenue in Chicago: Urban shopping is a major attraction in any savvy city, but in Miami, that has long been the missing link.
The groundbreaking Wednesday for Brickell CitiCentre marks a key step in changing that paradigm and boosting Miami’s evolution as a 24-hour metropolis. The $1.05-billion urban shopping and mixed-use development will be spread over three blocks just west of Brickell Avenue and south of the Miami River. Connected by bridges and covered walkways, the 5-million-square-feet project will include a department store, luxury shops, restaurants, a hotel, office towers and condominiums.
For developer Swire Properties, Brickell CitiCentre is an investment in Miami’s future.
“This project is not about what exists today or three years from now when we open,” said Steve Owens, president of Swire Properties. “It’s about what exists 10 years from now. The transformational aspects of this project are contagious. It’s not just about doing a large development. It’s about changing this community.”
Outside the retail shops, many of the individual elements of the project aren’t that different from what already exists in Miami’s urban core. But put them all together, and the open-air design by Miami’s Arquitectonica creates a vibrant gathering spot and a sense of place among Miami’s sea of high-rise towers.